Hungary is the first NATO and EU member country to order the new Rheinmetall product Lynx infantry fighting vehicle. This important contract represents a major breakthrough in the global defense market for the Düsseldorf-based technology group’s innovative new combat vehicle.
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Rheinmetall KF41 Lynx IFV (Image source: Army Recognition)
The Hungarian Ministry of Defense has awarded Rheinmetall an order for the supply of tracked armored vehicles and related products and services with a total value of more than 2 billion euros. The contractual agreement, which has just been signed in Budapest, covers 218 Lynx KF41 infantry fighting vehicles and nine Buffalo armored recovery vehicles. The contract includes additional products and services such as simulators, training and instruction, as well as an initial supply of spare parts and maintenance support. The Lynx VCIs will be equipped with a manned 30 mm lance turret, also developed by Rheinmetall.
Looking ahead, Rheinmetall sees further potential orders arising from this contract. Given an expected service life of several decades, the Lynx will require spare parts and regular maintenance in order to remain operational.
During an initial production phase, Hungary will receive forty-six Lynx infantry fighting vehicles as well as nine Buffalo armored recovery vehicles, all built in Germany; delivery should be completed in early 2023.
In the second production phase, 172 additional Lynx vehicles built in Hungary will fully meet the needs of the country’s armed forces. To this end, the Hungarian government and Rheinmetall agreed in August 2020 to create a joint venture to create a Lynx production plant in Hungary, financed by a local company.
As Armin Papperger, Chairman of the Management Board of Rheinmetall AG, explains: “The commercial breakthrough of the Lynx is a major success for us. And the fact that we succeeded in convincing Hungary, an important partner of the EU and NATO, to choose this innovative vehicle makes this success all the greater. In making this forward-looking procurement decision, Hungary’s senior political and military leaders showed true leadership. Not only does this decision place Hungary at the forefront of European military technology. It reaffirms the Hungarian government’s commitment to be a reliable and militarily more effective partner of its NATO allies, a policy it pursues with systematic energy.
“We greatly appreciate the trust placed in us by the Hungarian government that this order implies,” says Armin Papperger. “Rheinmetall is very proud to be able to make a significant contribution to the sustained expansion of Hungary’s defense technological capabilities in cooperation with local industry. We look forward to working with our Hungarian friends and partners and will do everything in our power to ensure the long-term success of this venture.
Rheinmetall will hold a majority stake and will lead the joint venture that will be created to produce the Lynx in Hungary. In the process, Hungary will make a material investment in the project in the form of a new production facility. The resulting center of excellence for the development, production and maintenance of armored vehicles will create an important core for the Hungarian defense industry. This constellation, which involves a local production partner in Hungary, will ensure that a substantial part of the added value arising from the sourcing project takes place in the client country.
For Hungary, this order represents an important step in its efforts to introduce a new generation of military equipment, with key systems complying with the latest NATO standards. The Lynx is currently competing in similar procurement programs in neighboring Czech Republic as well as Australia. It is expected that the majority of the Lance turrets for the first phase will be produced and supplied by the Rheinmetall Military Vehicle Center of Excellence in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Rheinmetall KF41 Lynx IFV (Image source: Army Recognition)
Lynx: modular, flexible, scalable
Less than five years have elapsed from the initial idea for a new infantry fighting vehicle to decisive command, including strategy formulation and the design and development phases – an impressive feat for a vehicle internally funded combat service in a highly demanding market segment where supply cycles are the norm.
The Lynx concept encompasses a complete vehicle family, consisting of a chassis module and flexible mission kits in numerous variants. This means that the base vehicle can be configured as an infantry fighting vehicle, armored personnel carrier, command vehicle or field ambulance. In addition, switching from one configuration to another can be done in a few hours. With base vehicle uniformity, the system will result in significantly reduced lifecycle costs, while allowing military users to adapt to changing tactical requirements and/or take advantage of new capabilities. Exceptional survivability, mobility and lethality characterize the Lynx, as does excellent growth potential, including in terms of total weight.
Its spacious interior is unmatched by any vehicle in its class, ensuring operational efficiency for its three crew members and up to nine infantry landings.
The Lynx protects its occupants from the full spectrum of battlefield threats, including explosions, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), direct and indirect fire, cluster munitions and anti-tank guided missiles. With its hard-hitting combat effectiveness and excellent off-road mobility, the Lynx will give the armed forces of tomorrow a decisive advantage in complex military operations at all levels of intensity in all kinds of environments, overcoming multiple threats and achieving favorable results.